Exclusive: U2's North American tour cancelled

Tue May 25, 2010 8:00am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White and Ayhan Uyanik

LONDON/MUNICH (Reuters) - U2 frontman Bono left hospital in Germany on Tuesday after undergoing emergency surgery on his back, but the injury has forced the Irish band to postpone the entire North American leg of its world tour.

It also means the band will not be appearing at Glastonbury, one of the biggest live music events of the annual pop calendar.

Bono has been told to recuperate for at least eight weeks and band manager Paul McGuinness, speaking to Reuters outside the Munich hospital where the operation was performed on Friday, said the 50-year-old singer "feels awful" about the tour changes, which will affect over a million fans.

"Clearly this is a serious injury and the recuperation time necessary to rehabilitate Bono is a big problem for the U2 tour and has unfortunately necessitated the postponement of 16 shows in North America," he said.

"Those shows were to occur between June 3 in Salt Lake City and July 19 in Meadowlands Stadium."

The earliest possible date for Bono's return, according to the band's website, would be August 6 in Turin, Italy.

U2 were to have been the headline act on the main stage at Glastonbury on June 25, but that has now been canceled.

"I'm heartbroken," Bono said in a statement posted on the festival's website. "We really wanted to be there to do something really special -- we even wrote a song especially for the festival."   Continued...

<p>Bono, the lead singer of U2, speaks after being awarded the Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership Award during the Atlantic Council Annual Awards Dinner in Washington, April 28, 2010. REUTERS/Benjamin J. Myers</p>